Thursday, November 28, 2013

New Patients, Inc - November 27 Newsletter - Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!! 

This holiday causes us to dive into this subject: How do you thank patients for their referrals?

First, the predictable caveat: State dental boards each have their own regulations about this topic. Be sure you don't violate them!

There is a concept to fully grasp regarding rewarding referring patients; the Social Exchange vs. the Monetary Exchange. This topic is covered at length in a book called Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions by Dr.Dan Ariely.

Professor Ariely gives us a timely example:

You are having a family Thanksgiving dinner prepared by your mother in law. It's a wonderful meal and you decide you'd like to show your appreciation by offering her $300. What's her reaction? Likely she'd be insulted. But why? Because you've turned a Social Exchange into a Monetary Exchange.

The same thing can happen with your referring patients.

Normally if you enjoy a cordial relationship with your patients they are more than happy to refer their friends and family if you just ask them. But if you then give them a monetary reward ($50 off their next visit, for example) it confuses them because you've just turned a Social Exchange into a Monetary Exchange.

So, how do you keep this transaction on the Social side?

You don't make monetary offers. Don't even advertise the fact that they can get some kind of reward for their referrals. What you should do is simply send them a small gift and a handwritten card. The gift can be just about anything like flowers, coffee mug, movie tickets and so on.

Because you've not announced to them that they will be rewarded, the gift comes as a pleasant surprise and doesn't make you look like you're "paying them off."

And that's why little gifts of appreciation work better than money or credits. You thank them for their Social Exchange and you don't try to turn it into a Monetary Exchange.

Happy eating!

An Appeal: We just got word from a dear friend of ours, Dr. Rick Coker in Tyler, Texas. A dentist in his area has suddenly passed away. Rick is trying to help the widow by getting a dentist to come in to take care of the patients. There's been no decision yet on whether the practice will be for sale. If you know of anyone who could help out, please contact Rick at Thank you!

Have questions? Want to learn more? You can reach Mark & Howie at:
If any of you need us, just call 866.336.8237. We will be here for you.

Got questions? Want to learn more?
You can reach Mark & Howie at:
Check out our latest dental marketing book

Friday, October 18, 2013

New Patients Inc - October 17, 2013 Newsletter

Using Stratification to your Advantage

If any of you need us, just call 866.336.8237. We will be here for you.
Got questions? Want to learn more?   
You can reach Mark & Howie at:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Big, big, big stuff out of NPI - August 29, 2013 NPI Newsletter

Big, big, big stuff out of NPI

In the last issue of this newsletter, we discussed barriers. We are going to continue that discussion in future. This NPI e-newsletter is more about letting all of you know some very exciting news.

(NPI) New Patients, Inc. acquires Phoenix Practice Marketing (PPM)

On August 16th, NPI acquired Phoenix Practice Marketing. Rebecca Palmer (president of PPM) is now the Director of Professional Relations at NPI. For those of you who are not familiar with Rebecca, her clients sure are. She has a tremendously loyal following in dentistry. Rebecca will continue to serve all of the PPM clients as well as serve new NPI clients.

NPI/PPM - What does this acquisition mean for you and for dentistry as a whole?

The combined companies can now effectively service almost any dental practice with an annual marketing budget from $10k to infinity! In the past, NPI served the top 20% to 30% of the dental market. PPM served the middle 50% of the dental market. Combined, we will serve the top 80% of the dental market. So, go tell your dentist buddies! The entry point to having NPI manage your marketing budget just got a lot wider!

Expanded menu of marketing campaigns

From small volume post card campaigns, all the way to massive 8 page magazine campaigns. We can now deliver mail to targeted households for about 37 cents, or 58 cents, or 89 cents. So, no matter where a dentist is on their growth path, NPI will have a solution to fit almost any reasonable/sensible budget.

But read on, it gets better......

For those of you already familiar with our targeting methods, get this! Magazines can go to the targets that make up the top 10% of the population, external mailers can go to the next strata (say, 50% to 90%), and postcard campaigns from 20% to 50%! This type of campaign would generate the high quality at the top AND the volume that many practices require when they have capacity to fill. Just deploy, track, and turn the volume knob in any direction the capacity requires!

We have expanded our mobile website offerings.

Our new designs are simpler to navigate on any mobile device, WAY more high tech looking, and allow us to say MORE about the practice without jamming too much info onto a small viewing screen! It is hard to explain with the written word. You just have to see it for yourself. Just use your cell phone or tablet and go here:  


You get extra credit for knowing what this image is. You get extra, extra credit, if you use your smart phone to scan the image and go to the website.  

We've expanded our practice website (.com) offerings as well!

We can service clients on the web with the most restricted marketing budgets. We will build small starter websites, all the way to the most effective websites in the most competitive dental markets. But the most important aspect of these expanded offerings is the equity as you upgrade through your dental career. Read on.

Even more great news - equity!
Now that we have everything from the very basic, all the way up to dominant, clients earn equity as they grow. To use a fairly common example, let's say you start with NPI when you are a young whipper snapper with a severely restricted budget. Let's say all you can afford at that time is a targeted post card campaign and a very basic starter website to get you going. Some of the agency fees you pay NPI will earn equity toward the next level mail campaign and the next level website!

This way, as you grow, you are not throwing projects out the window and starting all over from scratch! NPI will ALWAYS have a next level for you to upgrade to, and, some equity will be earned for projects you've already paid for!

We will be back shortly with our usual informational newsletter. We will never stop educating dentistry on the proper/effective ways to promote their practices to the dental consumer. We just had so many announcements to make, we figured we might as well use this newsletter to spread the word.

If any of you need us, just call 866.336.8237. We will be here for you.

Got questions? Want to learn more?    

You can reach Mark & Howie at:
Check out our latest dental marketing book

Friday, August 16, 2013

New Patients, Inc. Acquires Phoenix Practice Marketing

           New Patients, Inc. Acquires Phoenix Practice Marketing

Merger will allow expanded marketing services to dental practices
Las Vegas, NV August 16, 2013 - New Patients, Inc. the marketing firm exclusively for dentists, today announced the acquisition of Texas based Phoenix Practice Marketing.
“I am obviously thrilled and honored to be part of the NPI team,” said Phoenix Practice Marketing President, Rebecca Palmer. “They’ve been a leader in this field for a long time and have always impressed me as the type of company I hoped mine would grow into. Together, we will be able to reach out and help even more dental practices. I feel like I am now a part of a marketing dream team for dental practices.”
“Mark and I and everyone on the NPI team are very happy to have Rebecca’s expertise and extensive knowledge of the dental profession,” said NPI CEO, Howie Horrocks. “She is very well known in the dental world as someone who takes excellent care of her clients.”
Company President Mark Dilatush concurs. “Rebecca has an almost fanatical following. Howie and I want to ensure all her fans that she is not going away. She will continue to provide the same service, skills, and pricing she always has.”
The acquisition will allow both NPI and PPM to offer effective promotion solutions for all dentists, from the smallest annual marketing budgets – to the largest.
About New Patients, Inc.
New Patients, Inc. has been at the forefront of evidence based dental marketing since its founding by Howie Horrocks in 1989. NPI serves dental practices in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. Using their own results tracking and independent dental consumer research, they create, deploy and manage marketing campaigns that attract high quality patients into their client’s practices. For more information go to
New Patients, Inc.
5935 Edmond Street Suite 105 Las Vegas, NV 89118
Telephone: 866-336-8237    Email:

Sunday, July 21, 2013

July 2013 Newsletter - Let's talk about barriers - Dental Marketing

Let's talk about barriers

In the last issue of this newsletter, we discussed call tracking and calculating/projecting forward return on investment. Barriers have an awful lot to do with the number of calls you receive from your advertising, and in turn, your return on investment. Our objective with the next several issues of this newsletter is to enlighten you on how the public views the barriers, and how you might be able to mitigate the barriers to get a better result.

Price as a barrier

Price is the #1 consumer concern when choosing a dentist. We know this from testing. We know this from investing in completely independent consumer research. We doubt this is a surprise to any of you.

Is it price or ignorance?

We contend, and have proven for the past quarter century, that you can effectively promote a dental practice WITHOUT focusing (visually) on price incentives. As a matter of fact, in 99% of our work, you would have to search for or listen really hard to find any price incentive.

Females choose healthcare providers for their family. Half of those females are turned off by price incentives offered by healthcare providers as the primary focus of their advertising. These females make up the top half of the dental market.

If you look at the subject of price, one can flip it around and begin to wonder if the market truly understands the value and benefit of what dental practices offer. If they did realize and understand the value and benefit of what the dental practice offers, wouldn't price be less important? Yes, of course, especially with the top half of the dental market.

With the top half of the dental market, what you have is almost pure ignorance. Price is the only known concern. They don't understand the benefits of today's dentistry. The only thing they do know to ask about is either the price, or if their insurance will cover their visit/treatment. Fill their minds with the value and benefit of today's dentistry (in your advertising and during the first phone call to your practice), and the importance of price fades very quickly.

How to mitigate the importance of price in your advertising

In your advertising, you first mitigate the importance of price by talking about it! But, you don't have to make a big deal about some new patient special. You mitigate price by letting your audience know other things about price. You are affordable for the whole family. You offer payment plans. You offer patient friendly financing. You are their advocates, and will do everything you can to maximize their dental insurance benefits. You invest in technology that allows you to find cavities earlier, to help them save money. You provide same day dentistry to save them time and money. There are literally dozens of ways to talk about price with the consumer, without being perceived as the bargain basement dentist, and in turn, turning off exactly the market segment you are going after - the top half.

Don't avoid talking about price. Just talk about price positively without coming across as the low cost provider in your market.

The next thing you do in your advertising to mitigate the importance of price, is to talk about the benefits of the dentistry you provide! Refocus the consumer. They simply do not know what you do. They really do think the dentistry performed today, is the same as the dentistry done 30 years ago. Fill the value void. If you fill the value void, the importance of price is replaced with the importance of the services, conveniences, and technologies you provide.
Why does everyone ask about price or insurance during their first phone call to your office?

The bottom half of the market is asking about price or insurance because that's all they really care about. Your chances of flipping them into a good quality new patient are slim. Many frogs, and the occasional prince.

The top half is asking you about price or their insurance coverage because that's all they know to ask. They don't know anything about the dentist, services, technology, or conveniences your practice offers - they ask about the only thing they know. A properly trained staff person answering that phone call will immediately begin talking up the dentist, the quality of the services, the technology, and the conveniences your practice offers.

Your advertising primes the pump. If your advertising is filling the value void (talking about reasons to choose you other than price), and your staff is also talking about the value of seeing you - you will attract more than your fair share of the top half of the dental market. When that happens, you begin moving toward your objective.

Let everyone else compete to be the cheapest dentist

There are 75,000,000 females in the US who are not going to choose the overt, lowest cost provider anyway (the top half of the market). It's funny, the more overt and cheaper the advertising appears, the more the top half of the market moves away from those dentists.

Mitigate their initial concern about price and their ignorance about the benefits of today's dentistry by proactively talking about how your practice helps them afford and save money. Then fill the value void with the benefits of choosing you as their dentist.

Watch what happens.

Next month we talk about the barrier of convenience. Too many of you "think" you are a convenient dental practice to choose. The barrier of convenience is typically a fairly easy one to mitigate. So, pay attention next month.

If any of you need us, just call 866.336.8237. We will be here for you.
Got questions? Want to learn more?   

You can reach Mark & Howie at:
Check out our latest dental marketing book

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dental Marketing - 16 How Do I Measure ROI?

New Patients, Inc. 
5935 Edmond Street Suite 105
Las Vegas, NV 89118
Telephone: 866-336-8237   

Thursday, June 13, 2013

June 13, 2013: News You Can Use from New Patients, Inc.

Let's talk about call tracking and calculating forward ROI

In the last issue of this newsletter, we discussed what we are seeing across the board; a slow and steady growth in our response numbers. We also discussed where the revenue growth is coming from (elective) and recommended that it may be a good time to re-balance your promotion budget from 100% core staples of dentistry to perhaps an 80/20 mix of core staples and elective dental services.

Call Tracking & Calculating forward ROI

ROI = Return on Investment. If you are a client of NPI, you already know what call 
tracking is. We strongly encourage all of our clients to use tracking numbers on any promotion effort that consumes more than 10% of their annual promotion budget. 
For this e-newsletter, let's dig deeper. The goal of this newsletter is to give you monthly control of how your promotion is paying off. Maybe not this particular month, but most certainly down the line.

To provide clarity and consistency among the readership, we will focus on 
NPI direct mail, call tracking, and forward ROI calculation.

By now you know that NPI works in all promotion mediums (internal, web, SEO, 
web video, social media, direct mail, all forms of print advertising, radio, TV, etc). 
Each of these promotion mediums has a different future ROI projection. To keep 
things consistent and applicable to most of the reading audience, we are going to 
focus on one specific promotion medium - NPI direct mail. This makes sense for two reasons. The first reason is most of you are mailing through NPI. The second reason 
is, among all of our clients in 5 countries and all of their various promotions, the way  NPI does mail always generates the highest average revenue per patient.

The secret formula revealed!

Total monthly call volume x 40% x $1,400 = Projected first year return

Projected first year return x 2 = Projected 3rd year return

Projected third year return x 2 = Projected 6th year return

So let's put this to practical use.

Your homework will be to look at your own call tracking (if you forgot your login 
& password just call us at 702.221.2184 and we will get you back on track).

Let's say last month your mail generated 18 total phone calls. We all know there were some clunker phone calls in there, maybe a solicitation, maybe a repeat caller or two,  but that call volume should have generated about 7 new patients in your schedule  (total call volume x .40). Now multiply 7 new patients times the global average first  year revenue per patient (from mail) of $1,400. You get a projected first year return of $9,800.

We can now move onto projecting a 3 year return by multiplying the $9,800 x 2. 
That gives us $19,600.

One more step to project a 6 year return ($19,600 x 2), and we get $39,200.

What if I'm in a grossly competitive area and not getting 18 inquiries a month?

You don't have to have high call volume to generate a robust forward ROI. Take a look  at the math.

Example: 8 phone calls per month x 40% = about 3 new patients that month. 3 x $1,400 after they are in your practice for a year = $4,200 first year return. $4,200 x 2 = $8,400 three year return. $8,400 x 2 = $16,800 for a six year return. Your mail costs run about $2k/month. Even at 8 calls a month and 3 new patients a month, it is still generating a very solid ROI.

Don't be fooled by trading quality for volume.

The business of dentistry is not a one and done business. Patients take time to get necessary work done. Patients take time to choose elective dentistry. People take time to feel comfortable referring their friends and co-workers to you. They, in turn, take time to get their necessary and elective dentistry done. Not to mention the recurring revenue generated out of hygiene.

The key to driving solid forward ROI in a dental practice has a lot more to do with 
average revenue per patient, than it does with increasing patient volume. Anyone can generate additional new patient volume. Start promoting free exams and cleanings.  You will get new patients in the door. The problem is, their average first year revenue will range between $380 and $610, will NOT double in three or six years, and might double in 12 years.

You have homework!

We are hearing through our client services department that very few of you are looking at your call tracking numbers. If you do not look at them and listen to the calls, now would be a great time to get reacquainted.

Next month we are going to talk about barriers. Too many of you create your own. 
We are going to isolate and discuss a few of the most common in our next newsletter.

If any of you need us, just call 866.336.8237. We will be here for you.

Got questions? Want to learn more?   

You can reach Mark & Howie at:
Check out our latest dental marketing book

May 16, 2013: News You Can Use from New Patients, Inc.

How was your first quarter of 2013?

In the last issue of this newsletter, we discussed capacity, how it impacts growth, how  to measure where you are, and identify options moving forward depending upon where  you are.

Many of you are seeing slow steady growth in 2013

In this newsletter, back in October of 2012, we predicted a better 2013. All things 
being considered, that is what we are seeing. Are we seeing more new patients, 
or more patients getting more work done?

In select markets in the US, we are seeing more elective dentistry being completed 
and a slight uptick in new patient volume across the board. The revenue gains are 
being generated more by the elective dentistry side, than the increase in new patient volume. More people are getting more dental work completed. With that increase in
work, dentist production schedules are getting booked out farther. Now you know 
why we wrote in depth about capacity in last month's newsletter!

Remember the number 8. Don't let yourself be fooled by being booked out further 
than 8 days.

What is coming down the road?

Back in March of 2008, we shifted the consumer perception of our work for our clients  to the core staples of dentistry (kids, ortho, emergencies, conveniences, technologies, some price). At this point, don't stop with the staples. The staples got hundreds of dentist/clients growing through this recession. The overall growth rebound is going to  be slow - very slow. But, dentistry shed 18% during this recession. A bounce back is looming. Don't get all excited. Don't go crazy. Just realize that there is greater opportunity now, than there was one year ago today.

Rebounding home prices in specific markets is your guide. If your area is still seeing 
a decline or flat home prices, your specific area is behind. If your area has already 
flattened and is starting to gain, your specific area is about average. If your area has already seen sustained growth in home prices for 6 months or more, your specific 
area is ahead of the curve.

Balancing your budget allocation.

If your specific market area is rebounding or ahead of the curve, now would be a good time to talk to your NPI advisor about re-balancing your promotion budget. We realize the core staples of dentistry are boring to most dentists. Elective dentistry is exciting to most dentists. We get it. We understand. Just because we are seeing some growth across the board, doesn't mean you allocate 90% of your promotion budget toward elective dentistry. That would be foolish. That would add risk. With all that said, you could consider an 80/20 mix. Eighty percent of your budget should be going toward communicating the core staples of dentistry, with about twenty percent going toward an elective dentistry niche or a rotation of elective dentistry niches.

Here are some niche elective dental offerings that have shown to pull well when promoted individually, or as part of a rotation.

In no particular order:

Accelerated Ortho (six month smiles, Powerprox, etc.)
Sleep Apnea treatment
Kor Deep Bleaching (20 million people used Crest White strips and are looking for a better solution)
Same Day Dentistry
FaceLift Dentures
Sedation (it's still viable if it is in a rotation with other niches)

In the list above, same day dentistry would stand out as the one that we would use first if we didn't have the room or budget to create a rotation of several niches. Same day dentistry includes so many core staples (convenience & technology), along with anticipated growth in emergency care. What happens to teeth if you neglect them for 5 years during a recession? Exactly!

If any of you need us, just call 866.336.8237. We will be here for you.

Got questions? Want to learn more?   

You can reach Mark & Howie at:
Check out our latest dental marketing book

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dental Marketing - 14 How Can I Compete in a Very Saturated Dental Market?

New Patients, Inc. 
5935 Edmond Street Suite 105
Las Vegas, NV 89118
Telephone: 866-336-8237   

Thursday, April 25, 2013

April 17, 2013 News You Can Use from New Patients, Inc.

New Patients, Inc - Newsletter

Why you MUST watch capacity to foster growth

New Patients, Inc.  
5935 Edmond Street Suite 105 
Las Vegas, NV 89118
Telephone: 866-336-8237    


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013

March 21, 2013 Newsletter

March 21, 2013: News You Can Use from New Patients, Inc.
Some Very Important Announcements!

Dental Marketing - 7: What Should I Promote First & Least?

New Patients, Inc.
5935 Edmond Street Suite 105
Las Vegas, NV 89118
Telephone: 866-336-8237

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dental Marketing - 5: How Can I Increase My Marketability?

New Patients, Inc.  
5935 Edmond Street Suite 105 
Las Vegas, NV 89118
Telephone: 866-336-8237    


Sunday, January 27, 2013